Founder of TechLit Africa Is CNN’s Hero of the Year

Nelly Cheboi is CNN’s 2022 Hero of the Year, honored for her efforts in providing computer training for rural Kenya schoolchildren through her non-profit TechLit Africa.

Cheboi grew up in grinding poverty in rural Kenya. “I never forgot what it was like with my stomach churning because of hunger at night,” even though her mother “worked really hard to educate us,” she said on CNN Sunday.

Online voters selected Cheboi as the top winner from a field of 10 heroes.

On a full scholarship at Augustana College in Illinois, she “fell in love” with computer science and knew she had found her career path.

It wasn’t until she began working in the software industry, however, that she realized that companies just throw away computers when it’s time for an update.

She said she knew there were children in Kenya who had no idea what a computer was and so TechLit Africa was born.

TechLit Africa currently serves 10 schools and Cheboi hopes to be in 100 more within a year.

Her students attend daily classes in a variety of computer skills, including coding, and they also have the opportunity to engage in remote learning. “They can go from doing a remote class with NASA on education to music production,” Cheboi said.

“My hope is that when the first TechLit kids graduate high school, they’re able to get a job online because they will know how to code, they will know how to do graphic design, they will know how to do marketing,” Cheboi said. “The world is your oyster when you are educated.”

 

 

 

Source: Voice of America

How Committed Is US to Africa? $55B Worth, White House Says

The United States will demonstrate its commitment to the African continent with $55 billion in pledges, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday on the eve of a three-day summit of 50 high-level African delegations in Washington.

“The U.S. will commit $55 billion to Africa over the course of the next three years, across a wide range of sectors, to tackle the core challenges of our time,” Sullivan said. “These commitments build on the United States’ long-standing leadership and partnership in development, economic growth, health and security in Africa.”

“We will shower you with details about those deliverables” as the summit progresses, he said.

In response to a question from VOA, Sullivan stressed that this money is not conditional on African nations’ condemning Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. In March, shortly after the invasion started, 17 African nations abstained from a vote to condemn Russia at the United Nations.

“We’re not putting a gun to anyone’s head,” Sullivan responded, adding: “We will make the case with passion and persistence to every country in the world that they should speak out against these flagrant violations of the U.N. Charter. We’re not imposing conditionality from the point of view of this summit on decisions.”

But corruption watchdogs say these big-dollar commitments pale in comparison with the estimated $88 billion that leaks out of the continent annually in illicit financial flows — through real estate purchases, offshore investments or anonymous shell companies.

“If you look at recent figures, U.S. government aid to sub-Saharan Africa has fluctuated between $6.5 and $7.5 billion a year,” said Ian Gary, executive director of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition.

“On the other hand, Africa is losing much more than that every year through illicit financial flows. So it’s important to recognize that if you want to support African development, if you want to support economic development, if you want Africa to be able to address the climate crisis and the debt crisis, we need to do our part as Americans to ensure that African governments have the resources to tackle those challenges,” Gary said.

 

Sullivan said that the summit, which runs through Thursday, will include a small multilateral meeting between President Joe Biden and a select group of African leaders, who have yet to be identified. The leaders would discuss, among other things, the elections happening on the continent in 2023, Sullivan said. Polls of note include presidential elections in Congo, Sudan and the world’s newest country, South Sudan.

And on Wednesday night, Sullivan added, the heads of each of the 50 delegations will be invited to dine with the Bidens at the White House.

The White House has been careful in its references to Washington’s biggest competition on the continent: Beijing. China has been a major player in lending and building infrastructure in Africa and has faced criticism for its loan practices — a charge that China’s top diplomat in Washington disputes.

“China’s investment and financing assistance to Africa is not a trap, it’s a benefit,” said Qin Gang, China’s ambassador to the U.S., during the Semafor Africa summit in Washington on Monday. “There is no such trap. It’s not a plot. It’s transparent, it’s sincere, it’s obvious.”

 

Regardless, said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the U.S. is going to keep the focus narrow as the 50 delegations meet for three full days to discuss a range of issues — including development, governance, food security and more — that could determine the future of the world’s fastest-growing continent.

“It’s not going to be about China,” she said. “It’s going to be about Africa.”

 

 

Source: Voice of America

St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister takes lessons from Dubai to position twin-island federation as a business hub

Basseterre, Dec. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Prime Minister Terrance Drew of the island nation of St Kitts and Nevis was in Dubai recently for a state visit that not only aims to strengthen bilateral relations but also glean lessons from the United Arab Emirates that will pivot the island into a sought-after business and […]

Basseterre, Dec. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Prime Minister Terrance Drew of the island nation of St Kitts and Nevis was in Dubai recently for a state visit that not only aims to strengthen bilateral relations but also glean lessons from the United Arab Emirates that will pivot the island into a sought-after business and leisure hub in the Caribbean.

The new prime minister and his delegation had several meetings and engagements over the four-day trip which took place from 29 November to 3 December 2022.

The two regions have enjoyed years of fruitful relations that have resulted in several areas of cooperation in which both countries have achieved together. This includes the signing of a historic Air Services Agreement. The seminal move paved the way for air traffic between the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis and the UAE.

The UAE also expressed previous interest in assisting the twin island Federation in adapting stronger climate change resilient measures, particularly as it relates to infrastructure. As climate related weather patterns become more fierce, St Kitts and Nevis is looking to tap into Dubai’s knowledge and expertise in constructing durable and resilient structures.

Just as recently as the 1960s, Dubai’s economy was merely dependent on the revenues generated from trade and oil exploration concessions. A major chunk of revenue obtained from oil reserves started to flow in 1969 and the rapid development of Dubai began – including major infrastructure like schools and hos­pitals and, over the years, it trans­formed Dubai into the business hub we know today.

St Kitts and Nevis developed and instituted its citizenship by investment programme in 1984 as a way to increase and diversify revenue generation. For nearly 40 years the programme has been instrumental in catapulting the nation from just a small island in the Caribbean to a globally recognized investment destination.

Without this foreign direct investment into the nation, St Kitts and Nevis would have certainly progressed at a much slower pace than desired.

The government of St Kitts and Nevis has made considerable progress in reducing its public debt and is among other countries in the Caribbean that supplement their economic activity through CBI programmes which provide astute investors with the option to obtain citizenship by investing in the country. The new government administration of St Kitts and Nevis believes that residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have a lot to benefit from its CBI programme.

The country is looking to build its reputation on the international stage and the CBI programme is one way to direct foreign direct investment to innovative projects across the spheres of education, health, agriculture and tourism.

For example, the travel and tourism sector accounted for one tenth of the gross domestic product (GPD) in St Kitts and Nevis in 2021, dropping for the second consecutive year. Part of the funds channeled the citizenship by investment programme will be used to revitalize the sector and re-establish St Kitts and Nevis as must-visit destination.

Attracting the right kind of developers who will inject cash into developing attractive real estate projects that will charm discerning investors, is one way to grow the tourism sector. Not only that but the upgrading and development of important infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, airports and hotel chains is another way the funds will be used to not only bring up tourist numbers but investors too.

The visit was also aimed at deepening relationships with important stakeholders including international investors and government approved agents, who play a vital role in promoting and supporting the country’s recently upgraded citizenship by investment programme.

St Kitts and Nevis is the first country of the Caribbean Community to establish a formal diplomatic presence in the UAE, recently opening an embassy and consulate in the region.

The members of the delegation which included, Cabinet Secretary, Dr Natta, Attorney General, Mr. Wilkin, Minister of Tourism, Ms. Henderson, Mr. Anthony and Ms. Galloway, were positive following the visit and believe that there were many lessons learned from visit that they could take back home and implement.

The visit also signifies to the world St Kitts and Nevis is open for business. During the visit, business partners, investors and citizens were able to meet the Prime Minister and the accompanying delegation members at an exclusive cocktail event that was hosted by the High Commission of St Kitts and Nevis during the trip.

The visit provided an opportunity for St Kitts and Nevis to attract investors who seek mutually beneficial partnerships with the nation.

Saint Kitts and Nevis administers one of the most successful citizenship by investment programmes in the world. This government delegation was aimed at showing investors, entrepreneurs and families from the UAE that they are all welcome in Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The Prime Minister’s visit has come at a time when the economies of many countries are affected by the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and by the consequences of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Prime Minister Drew is on a drive to find and implement solutions that will prosper St Kitts and Nevis and one of those actions included upgrading the country’s CBI programme – the government is taking measures to sustain and enhance the image of the twin-island federation’s CBI programme, so it is more transparent and follows the principles of integrity and good governance.

The St Kitts and Nevis government also recently launched its “Venture Deeper” campaign. This is a branding campaign aimed at highlighting the country’s famous and marked natural environment while introducing elements of introspective self-discovery and intention.

The campaign’s visual assets, showcased at a May 20 media premiere in New York, highlighted St Kitts and Nevis’ lush natural environment, including the territory’s rainforest, abundant historic landmarks and immersive cultural experiences.

St Kitts and Nevis’ revamped citizenship by investment programme is aimed at intelligent investors looking not only to prosper themselves, but those who are sustainability minded in their investment decisions.

PR St Kitts and Nevis
Government of St. Kitts and Nevis
mildred.thabane@csglobalpartners.com

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